Elon Musk Spitballs Ideas for Twitter

And polls his followers about converting Twitter HQ into shelter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2022 12:10 AM CDT
Elon Musk Spitballs Ideas for Twitter
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020.   (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

As Twitter’s newest board member and largest shareholder, Elon Musk is already floating suggestions for changes he’d like to see on the social media platform. In a series of tweets late Saturday, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO said that the company should include an "authentication checkmark" as a feature of its Twitter Blue premium subscription service, which costs $2.99 a month. Twitter adds a checkmark logo next to a user name when the account has been verified "authentic, notable and active." Musk also suggested Twitter make the authentication checkmarks of premium subscriber accounts different than those granted to official accounts belonging to public figures, for example.

Such a move, Musk said, would "massively expand" the pool of verified user accounts and discourage the proliferation of spam "bot" accounts, making them too expensive to maintain, reports the AP. Musk also shared ideas for how Twitter should charge for its subscription membership, saying the fee "should be proportionate to affordability and in local currency," and adding: "Maybe even an option to pay in Doge?" referring to the Dogecoin cryptocurrency. "And no ads," Musk tweeted. "The power of corporations to dictate policy is greatly enhanced if Twitter depends on advertising money to survive." Nearly 90% of Twitter's revenue in 2021 came from advertising.

Musk also posted a poll asking his 81 million followers whether the company’s San Francisco headquarters should be converted into a homeless shelter “since no one shows up anyway”; 91.3% of the 1.9 million people who responded said "yes." He also asked whether Twitter's "w" should be done away with. Last week, Twitter disclosed in a regulatory filing that it entered into an agreement with Musk giving the billionaire a seat on the company’s board, with the term expiring at its 2024 annual shareholders meeting. The move came a day after it was disclosed that Musk took a 9% stake in the company.

(Read more Elon Musk stories.)

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